An ode to R.L. Stine and J.K. Rowling: childhood nightmares and dreams

I am convinced dreams are as important as nightmares. Although dreams are more preferable, I think we do need an occasional nightmare for our dreams to remain valuFeatured imageable. When I was about eight years old I discovered both R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series as well as the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling: both scared the hell out of me (although the fear I got from Goosebumps was on a whole other level, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named appeared in many of my nightmares as well). Nevertheless I am also very grateful to have read both as a kid. 

First, I would like to thank R.L. Stine for starting my endless love for the genre called horror, no doubt it started with his Goosebumps (and later on, Fear Street). I have read them all, and every single one of them gave me nightmares and numerous midnight cries. My parents always wondered why I kept reading them (luckily they never took the books away from me), and I myself do not have a clue either, except for the fact that they are also just a very good read. And still, I do this to myself: I know I get scared by scary stories, but I read (and watch horror movies) all the time. Recently, I have read and reread a lot of R.L. Stine’s work, every single one of them was as scary to me as it was eighteen years ago. It made me happy.

Although Voldermort was almost as scary to me as R.L. Stine’s Slappy the Dummy (in Dutch he is called ‘meneer van Houten’, which sounds way less scary!), J.K. Rowling is the one I would like to thank for my childhood dreams. My parents gave me my first Harry Potter book (which I do suspect to be an attempt to distract me from my Goosebumps collection, and additional nightmares). From the first page I was in love with Harry. I dreamed to be in Hogwarts all day, I have never hoped more for a fictional world to be real. I think all this dreaming made me a more creative person then I would have been otherwise: I created my own ‘wizarding world’ inside the one J.K. Rowling presented to me, a world that I could be part of. It started my own love for writing, and fed my love for reading.

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An ode to R.L. Stine and J.K. Rowling: childhood nightmares and dreams

4 pieces of literature that really got me thinking.

I have read a lot of books that I enjoyed. I sometimes also encounter books that I did not enjoy at all. Now and then, I read books that I loved. Very occasionally, I read a book that changed Featured imageme. This is the kind of book that gives you a very sad feeling when you are turning the last few pages, although you really want to know the ending, because it makes you feel like you are losing one of your best friends/ you are forced to step out of a world that became your home/ you are not ready to be in the ‘real’ world yet. I think my list of these kind of books contains about 30 to 50 books. The following four pieces of literature are definitely on that list, these are the ones that really got me thinking:

Note: Harry Potter is always the #1 on every single one of my lists, I think it is better for the sake of every one that I leave this one out. It will never stop appearing in each and everyone of my blogs once I start writing about Potter.

1. One, No One & One Hundred Thousand by Luigi Pirandello 

I have to admit, it took me a while to start reading this one. From what I have heard, it seemed to me like it was just a cranky story written by a cranky Italian writer, about a sorehead old Italian man. I WAS SO WRONG. Well, I was kind of right, it is about a sorehead cranky Italian man, but I did truly love it. I finally started reading the first pages of the book when I realized I could really identify with the main character. Which was something I found to be quite remarkable, because I was identifying with a cranky Italian man who seemingly experienced some sort of mid-life crisis.

Continue reading “4 pieces of literature that really got me thinking.”

4 pieces of literature that really got me thinking.

Paper Towns – John Green

Peeing is like a good book in that it is very, very hard to stop once you start.

– John Green, Paper Towns 

Paper Towns Paperback

I felt like I missed out on something, not having read (or watched) John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Nevertheless, I wasn’t planning on reading it any time soon. I guess it kind of scares me because it’s supposed to be really sad (don’t get me wrong, I like to have a good cry over a book every now and then, but I think this one will get under my skin a bit too much).

Then, I happened to come across the trailer of Paper Towns, which is an adaptation to John Green’s same name novel. The trailer starred Cara Delevingne (I love Cara!) and it seemed like a movie I would definitely enjoy to watch. So I immediately went to a bookshop and bought the paperback version, following my number one rule (which I will not ignore ever again): always read the novel before watching the movie, because you know you are going to regret it if you don’t. Also, I had just finished reading Tolstoy’s War and Peace, so I really needed something more ‘light’ to read.

In short, Paper Towns describes how main character Quentin Jacobsen’s crush Margo Roth Spiegelman disappears after the two had a pretty adventurous night. Quentin starts looking for Margo using the clues she left for him all around town. I don’t want to spoiler anything, so this is all I will say about the plot.

It took me exactly one day to read it. For the most, because I just needed to know the ending. It really felt a bit like peeing (see this posts quote). I just could not help myself, all I cared for in the 24 hours I spent (mostly) reading the novel, was what happened to Margo Roth Spiegelman. But, to be honest, I found the ending to be a bit disappointing. Although, that might have been the consequence of my own expactations while reading it. Nevertheless, the novel itself was a very easy read, with nice characters and an exciting storyline. For me, Paper Towns embodies what I expect a YA-novel to be.

Now I am only left wondering if I should read The Fault in Our Stars after all.

xx

Paper Towns – John Green